Ardently Mothering

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
My dear friends,

Good Morning and Salutations. I am happily hot~handed writing to you on this cold crisp dewy damp day from Florida. I have been desperate for the cold and I awoke this morning to receive a gift from the weather Gods. I'm still bundled up, having tea and some scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast. It's a delight to have fresh eggs from my chicken ladies.

I get all a bustle and the inspiration drips from my fingertips. After I post this entry, I'm planning to sit and paint for the day. I've let the chickens out into the garden and I've opened the windows to let the fresh breeze sweep through the cottage. Oliver is bipping along the chilly ceramic floor before hopping into his basket of timothy hay. He certainly loves the comforts of his basket. I drape his basket with a lace cloth to block out the light and he'll pretty much rest the whole day long. Rabbits sleep during the day, so I know he's nestled in for a long winter's nap. He's at peace, and I couldn't be more tickled to share my life with my sweet companion Oliver TwistyTop.

As many of you are aware my children are grown, and I have been an empty nesting mother for bygone of three years. My youngest and only daughter is 18, and will soon be 19 in February. I miss the presence of her daring spirit most considerably. It has been a vexing actuality to be dispossessed from my daughter during her later years. The selecting of prom party dresses, high school graduation, entering college, walking the campus, inspiring her forwardly with wonderful majors she has decided on, etcetera.

I have resisted speaking about my viscitudes because oft times I've wanted this blog to be sort of a refresher course, and I desire for it to feel above all else, positive. The surest way to take the momentum of someone's attention seems to be rehashing wounds from years past. I have not wanted to create that here. However, if I'm acknowledging the corn, I read my own blog and as a dear reader, I want to know the writer and what their life consists of. That is the most desirable aspect of my investment of blogs that I appreciate from a prospective onlooker.  When a writer truly shares, I can feel a connection to them. The experiences perhaps will be of inspiration to women, especially with regards to raising children, how those moments have played an active role in my being a mother of four and beginning anew amid a divorce after 24 years of marriage.

I also have determined that it will be delightful for my soul to share those moments with you, my dear friends. I do believe it will be healing for me. I think I have a way with vernacular and a spin on life that's appealing and uplifting. I will be able to write with enough slant to turn any dark and dreary moment into the unearthing of happiness. I do believe we all have the power to turn words and find the beauty in our life experiences. And the most dreadful experience can be written with the intent to move a soul and really empower another. Well, at least that is what I will admittedly attempt to do with this little slice of heaven, my online diary. My full intention is to cross lots.

I think all writers want to inspire others. I believe many of our intentions if we're acknowledging the corn are selfish to some degree. To create something for ourselves that will be an advocate in our healing I believe is a lovely thing.
Our very first Christmas Card as a married couple. I painted this 3 years ago, and I'm astonished time has so quickly passed.

On Thanksgiving, I wasn't expecting to hear from my children. At least not all four of them anyway. I am quite reluctant to have high expectations and yet I advocate for expectation almost at nausea whether I'm teaching or coaching someone. But when it comes to myself, I think I have a contradicting belief about it. Isn't that the likelihood? A plumber has terrible plumbing and the carpenter never has a finished home. {wink, wink}

Much to my surprise, I did hear from all four of my children. I spoke for a few hours with my middle son Sawyer, and I received text messages from my other three. Zoë Kennedy was quite the dear and honoured me with the kindest of words on her Instagram feed. I just happen to see it before I deleted my account and I actually teared up a bit. It's quite the gift when your children do things of their own volition and aren't pressured nor provoked. My heart let out a little squeal of the utmost joy and exuberance. You see, Zoë Kennedy had a most arduous time with my leaving the marriage to her father. Carter, my oldest son has been disgruntled with me as well. Carter was just returning from his LDS church mission at the time so I must confess I was a little taken aback of his disgruntled hurt and anger towards me. He hadn't lived at home in over two years and came home to live a brief moment after he returned from his LDS mission. He quickly found a nice apartment and to this day he and my youngest son Brooker share a place in Oklahoma.
My son Carter when he was around 2 years old. I smocked his bubble in a geometric design. The fabric is Pima cotton. 

Another image of my oldest son Carter. I smocked this design and made him a little cotton shirt. If you'd like to smock or begin smocking, geometrics are the easiest, to begin with. 

My daughter still currently shares a space with my ex as she opted to stay in Oklahoma and not move to Florida with me after the divorce was finalized. She admittedly says she was exhausted from moving to and from so many schools and wanted to stay put for the time being. She's a young woman with a soul that thrives on variance and I do believe her wings will set her free very soon. She has always adored travelling and I believe her heart will continually send her soaring. She is a traveller at her core and in that manner, we are quite the opposite indeed.

Last evening I harvested herbs from the garden, labeled, cataloged and hung them to dry. I am planning to make rich fragranced oils and bottles of vinegar for Yule gifts this year. Do you hand make gifts, or find that buying gifts is more to your liking?

I hope this day serves you well, and please know I'm thinking of you wholeheartedly.
Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

A Victorian Mermaid's Message Of Good Cheer

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
My dear friends,

I've missed you and it seems those words are oft spoken from me. I have a wee bit of news to share with you.

But firstly, tea and a Victorian quote to set us right.

" How oft does an emblem-bud silently tell what language could never speak half so well!" ~Louisa Anne Twamley, Romance of Nature {1836}
Apple Cinnamon tea and stollen
Last week I sent out my very first email newsletter "The Current." I think I should continually flush out a few ways of making it become a delightful bit of tail mail or messages in a bottle from Raquel. Which Title do you prefer? I'd very much appreciate it being somewhat like snail mail. I miss not having handwritten letters from the post. I love having pen pals, do you not?

I decided over the holiday Thanksgiving break to eliminate all of my social media. I didn't delete the accounts but enabled them and deleted the apps from my cellular to see if it had an impact on my productivity. I'm happily able to report indeed it has! The more I looked at the analytics, I realised the traffic I was receiving came almost 99% from Google, and my website. I feel I've finally come to terms with not having social media. My mothership is my website so I am going to hone in and laser focus on wonderful content for you, my dear friends. I spent too much time spreading myself thin. I'm curious, do you enjoy social media? I believe there is a fine balance to be had.

I've spent my days feverishly working away at creating a nice new design for my website/B~log. It's taking me a bit longer as I'm doing it all myself. Do you work on your own website design, or hire it out? My dream is that you and all who swim to my underwater world will enjoy cottage life, Victorian, homemaking, spirituality and peeks into an authors/ artists life might be appealing. I'm definitely going to be putting out copious amounts of evergreen content since I am focusing solely on my brand nowadays.

I've been feeling a bit of overwhelm as of late so I began using my Mermaid Mapping Process again. I am a work in progress, and I know I am learning to relax more with each day. I wanted to share the process with you, just in case you've been feeling overwhelmed too. If you practice the law of attraction (Abraham Hick's Teachings), there is a process in the book " Ask and It Is Given" called the placemat process. It's a very practical way to reduce overwhelm.
This is a little planner page from my personal agenda. It's not one I am going to ultimately sell, so I thought If you wanted to copy it off and use it, It may be of use to you.

Here's how to use The MERMAID MAPPING PROCESS:
On one side pick several things, let's say, for instance, five things you are going to do in a day, and on the other side what you'd like the universe to tend to. In life, if we get overwhelmed with too many things, the more we allow space for the writing of things down, there will be more releasing. The focus becomes the accomplished mechanism. When you focus with overwhelming emotions you're shooting yourself in the fin, so to speak. Put yourself in the receptive mode because once you've asked it is given.
I'm forever an old soul and love an antique and thrift store more than you can imagine. My BG {beloved gardener} and I went to the village thrift store over the holiday and found a few lovely antiques for the cottage. We collected a lace shower curtain, two brass lamps, two antique mirrors, some little wooden picture frames, a cross-stitch jewellery box, an old Victorian painting, and a Victorian cross stitch Christmas stocking.

The little frames I found at the village thrift for $1.75 (6 qty.) I then painted the silhouettes. 

My dear friends, I think as of late I've been prevailed upon to unearth all of the pleasantries of old-fashioned nostalgia. I gave my BG my Christmas list. I've been especially wanting an old Victrola.
A little doodle of a Victorian Christmas Mermaid

This year was the third Thanksgiving that the gardener and I have shared together and I made it special. I decorated our makeshift sewing table into a little dining table for two, with candles, wine, and some traditional family recipes. I made some place cards, and put 3 kernels of corn in antique shot glasses. We then shared 3 things we were appreciative of while placing the kernels into our dish. When my children were little I would sometimes use m&m's and they'd eat one for each thankful blessing.

I sat making popcorn garland while watching Poldark and Downton Abbey reruns.
Jeffrey and I had our assigned foods we made and we played Victorian holiday music while we prepared our supper. While the rest of the food cooked I decorated our Victorian tabletop Christmas tree and the front entry door.

I've felt in the past week or so, an enormous amount of stress has been released from my spirit. I'm finally feeling settled and like my old self again. I had felt dishelved for quite some time with regards to my surroundings and where i belong. I think that's probably pretty normal. After my divorce and having moved homes so often, that's a lot of mental exertion on someone.

In 24 years of marriage, I had moved to 8 states and 21 homes. When i left to divorce in a matter of a year, I had moved 3 states and 3 more homes. I think you can imagine why I have been feeling like such a gipsy. I am so ready to find my forever home and plant my landlocked self there for many years to come. Jeffrey and I are still living in Tampa, in a home, he has owned himself for over 20 years. But I'm ready for him and I to sell and find a home that's both our tastes. Have you ever felt such as I in this manner? I want a little more property. Somewhat like the feel of living in the country, but close enough to town that we could drive there in a matter of ten minutes or so.
Oliver doing a stance so I couldn't resist in posting.
I want to live somewhere like this. It has the feel of being out in the country, but it's close to all sorts of shopping.
My dear friend sent me leaves from New England and I made more leaf garlands to have in the cottage windows and on the back of our dining chairs.

Lovely eggs from my dear chicken ladies and some flowers I clipped from our cottage garden. 

I have since changed this but wanted to share it with you. I have so many jars, I must discover a remedy. 

Lovely little treasures from you my sweet friends. I love seeing them as I walk through the cottage. It reminds me that I have meaningful friendships.
I have since spoken to my father and my momma, so on Monday I drove to their family home and decorated for Christmas. It was a lovely time had. We listened to Christmas music, ate leftover Thanksgiving food for lunch and then later had apple cinnamon tea and stollen. It was so nice and very peaceful.
I painted the walls a pretty blue from Sherwin Williams, high gloss white trim and made hand-sewn curtains. When I was couch surfing at my parents, I didn't have a sewing machine, so I hand stitched them from old sheets. 

I used what my mother had on hand to decorate. I used to work at a florist when I was a teen so I learned how to make bows. 

A cross stitch I made one year for my mother's Christmas gift. 

My little storybook The Tale of Merrymaid Scarlette Rose has been out into the world for a little over a month, and here are a few things I've learned that I wanted to share with you:

                                                  TO PURCHASE MY LITTLE STORYBOOK:                                       
                                           Purchase The Tale of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose 
If I set my mind to accomplish something,  I know I can do it.

Everything in the universe has to do with energy and removing resistance.

That the cliche of enjoying the journey/voyage still eludes me more than 30% of the time.

Just because I have accomplished something like my book being published, doesn't mean I'll cease reaching for more.

I'm never going to get "It all done," so i may as well stop working so hard for the end to appear. The goals aren't to get it done, it's to enjoy the process.

To keep the momentum going I'm writing another book, then another and another. I believe momentum is key.
My dear friend Sam holding my storybook. She has the sweetest blog ever if you enjoy vintage clothing, sewing, farm life and shes especially fond of France.

Here's my queue for my list of storybooks I'm planning to write to lavish your dear hearts:

*The Tale of Henny Penny Goody Two Shoes

Henny Penny, Polly, Harriet, and May.

Lady Harriet
*Deceit and Dissension {A romantic drama that depicts a naive young lady from an English family of landed gentry as she learns to deal with morality, deception, and hypocrisy.}
 *The Tale of Ms Nevermore Raven
*The Tale of Patsy Violet
*The Tale of Sybrena Ewe
*The Tale of Captain Jack
*The Tale of Diggity-Diggity Dave
*The Tale of Melinda Little Mouse
*The Tale of Squirrel Sadie
*The Tale of Hoppity-Hoppity Little John
*The Tale of Oliver Rabbit
*Autobiography/ A Real Life mermaids Transformational Tale: A Voyage Back To Self Love

What have you been doing? Do you have your Christmas shopping completed yet? I am sewing and hand making gifts this year, so I am in the midst of working on mine.

I hope this day is treating you fine. I can't wait to write again.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

A History Of The Redhead~Vexings and Victories

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Dear Friends,
It's no longer National Redhead Day, but as I am a woman of her word, or attempting to get better at being a woman of my word I feel it pertinent to write straight away. I am but a work in progress, so thank you, jolly dependable readers. I love you to bits!

Won't you pour some tea, and we shall get on with it. I'm having some apple spice tea and honey. 

                    It's National Redhead Day!

I thought that being a true ginger, and the most common characteristic I have been known for  I should now celebrate the notion of having an extra chromosome. 

As you may know, I have been on the self-awareness voyage for more than four years now, and my thoughts have lead me to numerous evaluations. 

(insert a note here... I may sound like I am attempting to speak like an English woman in this post, for I've been heavily writing my romantic novel Deceit and Dissension. I am trying to write such as they would have in the Victorian era. I'm 40,000 words elbow deep. If you thoroughly enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Jayne Eyre, you'll adore my book.)

Ever since I was a sprout I've been the inquisitive one, and throughout my life, there have been assumptions made of me and my red locks, so on this special day, I'd like to share my experiences as a redhead as well as the vexings, victories and a tad of history. 

Throughout history and through the ages women with red hair were shunned, burned at the stake for having red hair. It was thought that we were witches, vampires and spewed fire from our lungs.

As a young girl with red hair, I was very much ridiculed. Until the last few decades that I've been alive, redheads have been looked upon as unattractive. I heard these sayings most of my life.
 "I'd rather be dead than red on the head." 
"You're so ugly, at least your hair is not the ugly orange hue."
"You're so white, you need a tan."
"You're an ugly freckled face redheaded girl."
"When you're old enough you should dye your hair another colour."
"No boys are ever going to like you because you have fair skin and red hair."
"You better pray you never have children that have red hair, especially a son."
"You're a mean little girl, and its because you have red hair."
"You redheaded freckled face brat!"

I think you can collectively understand my sentiments without me furthering my case that it created paramount insecurities within me by having red hair. I went a few years even dying my hair dark brown because I was so insecure about it. 

I think the one major thing i had to come to terms with was that nowadays women and girls dye their hair red constantly, as it's now deemed socially acceptable; and deeply admired. But when I was young I had so much bullying that it didn't seem fair when I'd see girls dying their hair. Do you know what I mean when I say that? I've made peace with it, but at the time I was somewhat bothered by it. 

Here are several things that do scientifically make me different because of red hair: 

1. Gingers have a recessive gene, and both parents have to have the gene in order to have a red headed child. They don't have to be a ginger themselves. Oftentimes they may carry the gene and not know it.
 2. We only make up 2% of the population, so we are very rare. England and Ireland have the most number of redheads.
3. Redheads are more sensitive to certain kinds of pain and are more resistant to pain medication. When I had my children, the doctors all said that they'd never seen someone that is so functional while being on such a strong epidural.  
4. True redheads are genetically different as we have a mutant gene.
5. We have a superior adrenal function. That means that in a fight or flight scenario having a redhead around will be of benefit, as we operate very well in dangerous situations. 
6. Redheads have a different smell. The skin mantle of a redhead is more acidic. That means that if we wear perfume, oils or fragrances they always smell different on us redheads. We also have to apply more frequently as scents fade from our skin more quickly than say a blond or brunette.
7. Hot and Cold. Redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain. We are more vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures. 
8. We are more susceptible to getting cancer.
9. We have more vitamin D than anyone.
10. We used to be seen as royalty in the middle ages and medieval times. Have you ever noticed how many redheads are either the heroines or the villains in movies and storybooks? 
11. We have a massive tolerance to heat. I can take showers and I am prone to only use the hot water. I have been known to scald people before, by sheer accident as I forget that i have a highly tolerable threshold for heat.

I have come to terms with being a redhead. i actually really appreciate and love that I am a very special person because I have red hair.

I passed my red hair onto two of my four children and I think they are the most beautiful creatures ever born because of it.

Here's a delightful book about the history of redheads: Red ~A History of the Redhead, Jacky Collins Harvey

Do you like red hair? 

   Most affably your til my next swim, Raquelxxx